• Vaccination and compliance

    Prematriculation recommendations

    Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to occur on American college campuses. In order to ensure the safest possible environment for University of Kentucky students, the university has prematriculation immunization recommendations. These are based upon recommendations and guidelines issued by the American College Health Association (ACHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), last updated March 2011.

    The University of Kentucky strongly recommends that all incoming students be immunized before enrollment (either through vaccination or naturally acquired immunity) against the following illnesses:

    • Measles
    • Mumps
    • Rubella
    • Polio
    • Varicella
    • Tetanus – Tdap if tetanus is more than two years ago
    • Diphtheria
    • Pertussis
    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • Meningococcal meningitis – required for students living in on-campus housing
    • HPV (females and males up to age 26)
    • Pneumococcal disease (for students with history of asthma, smoking, diabetes, liver disease or immune suppression)
    • Annual influenza

    Please note that some colleges, including the Colleges of Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health, require vaccinations or proof of immunity. More information on college-specific immunization policies can be found on your college’s website. International students should consult the International Student page for health-related policies specific to their status as international students.

    Most students who attended elementary school in Kentucky should already be protected, except perhaps for meningitis. Students from out of state, those who have been homeschooled or those who have for whatever reason avoided immunizations may need one or more of these vaccines. Students are advised that these immunizations should be up to date. UHS can administer these vaccines to students who are not already fully protected.

    If you have questions regarding the immunization recommendations, you may call 859-323-4636 (INFO).

    Note: The UK Housing department requires all students to provide documentation of the meningitis vaccine prior to housing contract approval. Please fax the meningitis vaccine documentation directly to 859-257-6453 so the housing application can be processed.

  • Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver.

    About 240,000 people in the United States are infected every year, with 40 percent of new infections occurring in young adults. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is responsible for an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 deaths each year in the United States due to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Anyone can get Hepatitis B.

    The virus is a life-long infection that can cause:

    • Cirrhosis of the liver
    • Liver cancer
    • Liver failure
    • Death

    Q: How do you get Hepatitis B?

    A: Hepatitis B is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Common means of transmission include: 

    • Sexual contact 
    • Contact sports 
    • Sharing a razor or toothbrush 
    • Sharing needles (tattooing, body piercing, intravenous drug use) 
    • Infected mother to baby during childbirth 
    • Health care worker exposed to blood or body fluids of infected patient 
    • First-aid exposure 

    Q: How great is your risk for Hepatitis B?

    A: You are at risk if you: 

    • Have sex with someone infected with Hepatitis B virus (that individual may not even know he or she is a carrier) 
    • Have sex with more than one partner 
    • Are a man and have sex with a man 
    • Live in the same house with someone who has HBV  
    • Have a job that involves contact with human blood 
    • Use intravenous drugs 
    • Have hemophilia or are a hemodialysis patient 
    • Travel to areas where Hepatitis B is common or if your parents were born in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Amazon Basin in South America, the Pacific Islands or the Middle East. 

    Q: What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?

    A: Not all infected persons have symptoms. If symptoms are present, they can include: 

    • Intermittent nausea, vomiting 
    • Abdominal pain 
    • Extreme fatigue 
    • Loss of appetite 
    • Yellow color to skin or eyes (jaundice) 

    Q: Is there a cure for Hepatitis B?

    A: There is no cure for Hepatitis B, but it is preventable with the Hepatitis B vaccine. 

    Q: What is the Hepatitis B vaccine?

    A: The vaccine consists of three doses given over a six-month period to provide complete protection. The dose schedule is: first dose, second dose one month later and third dose six months after first dose. Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended for all students before enrollment. 

    Q: Where can I obtain the Hepatitis B vaccine?

    A: The vaccine is available for students at University Health Service. 

    Students should call 859-323-2778 (APPT) to make an appointment to get the vaccination; there is a cost for the vaccine. 

    For additional information on Hepatitis B and the vaccine, parents and students can call the University Health Service at 859-323-4636 (INFO). 

  • Meningitis

    College freshmen, particularly those living in residence halls, are at higher risk for meningococcal disease.

    Q: What is meningococcal meningitis?

    A: Meningococcal disease, which can lead to bacterial meningitis, is caused by bacteria that infects the bloodstream, lining of the brain and spinal cord. 

    • 10-14 percent of people with meningococcal disease die. 
    • 11-19 percent of survivors experience brain damage, hearing loss, learning disability, loss of limbs, seizures or strokes. 

    Q: What are the symptoms?

    A: Symptoms can develop very quickly over several hours or may take one to two days, progressing rapidly to death. Early diagnosis and treatment reduce the risk of dying from the disease. If you have the following symptoms you should see a physician immediately. If UHS is not open go immediately to the closest emergency room. 

    Primary symptoms include:  

    • High fever 
    • Headache 
    • Stiff neck (unable to move neck) 

    Other symptoms may include:  

    • Nausea 
    • Vomiting 
    • Visual sensitivity to light 
    • Confusion 
    • Drowsiness 

    A respiratory illness or a sore throat often precedes these symptoms. 

    Q: How does meningitis spread?

    A: Meningitis can be transmitted by direct contact with secretions from the nose and mouth of an infected carrier, such as kissing, coughing, and sharing drinking glasses and eating utensils. 

    Meningococcal meningitis is not as contagious as the common cold or the flu and is not spread by casual contact. 

    Q: Is the meningitis vaccine available at University Health Service?

    A: Yes, the vaccine is available for students at University Health Service. 

    Meningococcal vaccination can greatly reduce the risk of infection, protecting against the strains of bacteria that cause 68-83 percent of this disease in the college-age population and is required before enrollment for all incoming students who will live on-campus housing. Residence hall occupants should enter their vaccination information on My UK Health Service. The vaccine is strongly recommended for students not living in residence halls. 

    Students should call 859-323-2778 (APPT) to make an appointment to get the vaccination; there is a cost for the vaccine. 

    For additional information on meningococcal meningitis and the vaccine, parents and students can call the University Health Service at 859-323-4636 (INFO). 

  • UK immunization requirements for students with clinical responsibilities

    University Health Service (UHS) welcomes University of Kentucky health science college students to our clinic. These compliance requirements have been established to protect health care providers as well as their patients during clinical encounters. These requirements reflect CDC guidelines and UK HealthCare policies. If you have a medical contraindication to one or more of the vaccine requirements, please provide UHS with documentation from your primary care provider. Deadlines for completion of compliance are set by the individual colleges. The following are required for all students involved in clinical activities: 

    Tuberculosis screening: 

    • New Health Science College students are required to complete an initial two-step TB skin test or equivalent (IGRA).*  If you have had a TB test within the last year, please bring a copy of the results with you to your appointment.
    • Upperclassmen must complete a TB skin test or IGRA test on an annual basis.

    Documentation of a negative Mantoux TB skin test is accepted from other institutions and must include (1) date given, (2) date read, (3) reading in millimeters, (4) name of facility and credentials of person administering and reading test. If known history of positive TB test or IGRA test, documentation must include date of reading in millimeters and chest X-ray. If these records are unavailable, UHS requires a two-step TB skin test or equivalent IGRA. Students with a positive PPD will participate in annual TB screening by answering a TB questionnaire.


    Proof of immunity to rubella, rubeola and mumps if born in 1957 or after. One of the following may be used as documentation:

    • Documentation of two MMR vaccines with the first dose at 12 months of age or older
    • Documentation by a physician of having had rubella, rubeola and mumps disease
    • Documentation of protective rubeola, rubella, and mumps titers

    Hepatitis B:

    A series of three injections at recommended intervals or documentation of a protective Hepatitis B surface antibody titer (≥10 mIU/mL)


    Proof of immunity to varicella by one of the following:

    • Positive (oral) history of chicken pox disease
    • Positive antibody titer
    • Documentation of two varicella vaccines with the first dose at 12 months of age or older

    Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis)

    Documentation of one dose of Tdap vaccine as an adult
    Note: Td (tetanus/diphtheria) vaccine is NOT the same as a Tdap

  • Appointment required

    Appointments are necessary and may be made by calling 859-323-2778 or online at My UK.

    Bring paper copies of all your immunization records to the University Health Service for verification at your scheduled appointment. A nurse will complete your compliance form and give you a copy to bring to your Student Affairs Office. UHS Clinic is located on the second floor of the University Health Service Building at 830 South Limestone Street, Lexington, Ky.